Sunday, July 27, 2014

Peaks and Valleys - Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 31

For the 31st week in the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, I chose Peaks and Valleys  by Spencer Johnson.

Basically, the book is a parable about a young man who lives unhappily in a valley. One day he meets an old man who lives on a mountain peak. At first the young man doesn’t realize that he is talking to one of the most peaceful and successful people in the world. However, in the course of additional visits and conversations, the young man understands that he can apply the old man’s remarkable principles and practical tools to his own life to change it for the better.

The author said about using the parable format for this book that he really enjoys learning, but doesn't like to be taught. He feels that many people are like that: they don’t like to be told what to do. With a parable, you pick and choose what you find valuable. What you don’t find valuable, you toss it or ignore. You decide what is true based on your experiences. Parables are much more powerful. What we learn lasts longer in our hearts and minds…and we are more apt to use it.

So, I listened to the book on CD since there wasn't a hard copy of it available at the library. There were many good points that are worth noting that I wish I had the actual book to re-read and fully absorb the message.

That being said, I ended up replaying many sections of the book so I could write down what I wanted to remember. These are the concepts that resonated most with me:

- When people know how to make both good and bad times work for them, they worry less and do better.

- It is natural for everyone to have both peaks and valleys in their lives. It's the highs and lows you feel at work or life. These personal peaks and valleys minutes, months, or longer.

- Peaks and valleys are connected. Who is to say where the highest part of the valley ends and the lowest part of the peak begins.

- The errors you make in today's good times create tomorrow's bad times. And the wise things you do in today's bad times create tomorrow's good times.

- People make things better when they return to basics and concentrate on what matters most which is what creates good times for them later. Too many people fail to manage their good times and do not notice that they are creating their own future bad times. They waste too many resources well and get away from the basics.

- How you experience a valley has a lot to do with how long you are in it.

- Peaks are moments are when you appreciate what you have. Valleys are moments for when you long for what you are missing.

- If you want to have fewer valleys, have fewer comparisons.

- You cannot always control external events, but you can control your personal peaks and valleys but what you think and do.

- Choosing a better belief usually leads you to a much better result.

- Look for the good in a bad situation.

- The path out of the valley appears when you choose to see things differently.

- You can change your valley into a peak when you find and use the good that is hidden in the bad times.

- How you manage your valley will determine when you get to your next peak.

- If you don't learn in a valley, you will become bitter. If you do learn, you will become better.

- A plateau can be a time for you to reflect, rest, and renew

- You can have fewer bad times when you appreciate and manage your good times wisely.

- Those who are unprepared for a peak soon fall from it and experience pain.

- Your ego can make you arrogant on the peak and fearful in the valley. It keeps you from seeing what is real. When you're on a peak, your ego makes you see things as better than they really are. And when you're in a valley, your ego makes you see things as a worse than they really are. It makes you think that a peak will last forever and that a valley will never end.

- The most common reason why you leave a peak too soon is arrogance masquerading as confidence. The most common reason you stay in a valley too long is fear masquerading as comfort.

- Most people think of valleys as times of frustration, hurt, disappointment, anger, and failure. Remember what happens when you find and focus on the good that is hidden there. You can change a valley into a peak. But it takes a remarkable person to truly appreciate and use what is hidden in a valley.

- Getting out of a valley means can be done by creating and following your own sensible vision. A vision of a future peak you want to be on. Something as big as you can envision, but also is realistic.

- The pain in a valley can wake you up a truth you have been ignoring.

- A personal peak is a triumph over fear.

- The good and bad times are truly gifts. Each has great value if they are managed well.

- Humility – helps you stay on your peaks longer.

- A valley is an opportunity to grow – to create something better in life. Look for the gifts in a valley it can bring you to a new and better place. Purpose of the peak is to celebrate life, and the purpose of the valley is to learn about life.

- Our fear keeps us trapped.

- What is the truth in this situation? (Ask this question in both times of the peaks and valleys.)

- Save and invest your increased salary.

- Say less and do more.

- If you replace fear with love you will be more likely to be loved.

- Imagine your better self in every detail (e.g., make a difference in the world, never take for granted the people closest to you). Hold this picture close in your mind and heart.

- Peaks and valleys are opposites. Look at what put you in the valley and do the opposite You’ll get the opposite result.

- Part of the old man was within him and always would be with him.

- To get out of a valley sooner, find and use the hidden good in the time of bad.

- Be of more service at work and loving in life.

- Be humble and grateful.

- Keep making things better.

- Save resources for your upcoming valleys.

- It doesn’t matter where a person lived, but how one lives.

- Wishing leads to new action. Create a sensible vision instead. Envision the vision using all your senses.

- Make reality your friend.

- How is your approach working? If it isn’t working out, then you’re probably not in touch with the truth. You’re living an allusion.

- Is this raising or lowering your energy? If it’s stressful or lowering your energy, then it isn’t the truth. If it’s raising your energy, then you’re living in truth…with integrity.

- Sometimes things are so bad that you can only see the bad – the negative. But if you look for the good, then you will come out in a better place…a place better than you were in before you entered the valley.

- What if we couldn’t do everything we want to do due to a lack of money? What if we just spent time with people doing free things?

- Don’t focus so much on success. Focus more on peace of mind.

- The more grateful you are when you are on a peak, the more you experience a higher energy and the happier you feel. You are almost practicing gratitude on the peak just like when you need gratitude skills when you are in the valley.

- Success is progress towards a worthwhile goal.

1 comment:

Rita said...

This sounds like my kind of book! Numerous lessons I have learned over my lifetime. A lot of good advice there. :)